Showing posts from December, 2010

O Christmas Tree!

Christmas Eve is finally here and I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and happy new year. I'll be back on the blog on January 3. Here are some photos of our glowing tree and favorite ornaments.

Cool packaging from Fossil

This year Ran and I are giving each other watches for Christmas. I was impressed by the packaging design of the Fossil gift boxes. They offer four different choices of decorative, retro metal tins. I loved the Christmas one for my watch and Ran picked the "shaving" box for his. They'll both work well for other uses once we've taken the watches out!

Festive Place Cards

My husband is a teacher at a private school in New Jersey. Every year the students put on a magical performance of "The Christmas Mystery." Just to clarify, "Mystery" is an old-fashioned term for play. The performance is a very festive rendition of The Nativity with songs and fun costumes. This year Ran was in charge of the student and faculty dinner that followed the play. I was very happy to do my little part to help (unbeknownst to me until I arrived at the event) by donating the artwork for the table place cards. What fun to see my illustrations on the tables!

Holiday Animation Project

I am thrilled to share my most recent illustration project. My friend Jim Vidal, an animator in NYC, hired me to do some character and set illustrations for a cartoon holiday card for Hellerman Baretz Communications. The basic plot is about this amazing attorney named Bernie. He's so amazing that he represents Lindsay Lohan, Tiger Woods, Bernie Madoff, the crazy flight attendant from Jet Blue, and even Santa! This was a great experience in dealing with animation pieces (eyes closed, eyes open, mouth closed, mouth open . . . you get the idea), drawing vector characters in 3/4 perspectives, and cartoon set design. The video is embedded below and some stills of my characters and sets are below. My favorite characters to draw were Santa and Lindsay Lohan . . . what does that say about me?

Craft Workshop at URBN (a recap)

My watercolor workshop on Friday was tons of fun! Everyone's enthusiasm totally made my day. Thanks to all my friends at URBN for inviting me to play!

Make your own greeting cards using watercolors and stencils

I've been busy prepping for a brown bag lunch craft workshop at URBN in Philadelphia tomorrow. I'm so excited and honored that they have asked me to host! For our group project (20 or so people) we are making greeting cards with watercolors and stencils.

I am glad I took some time to practice this week because I learned very quickly that I had purchased the wrong stencil paper to use on rough watercolor paper. The winning product is Frisket Film with EXTRA tack (as opposed to their other version with "low" tack). Extra tack film sticks firmly but not permanently, allowing for color control without the risk of tearing your paper. The low tack version is good for smooth papers but the colors bleed under the stencil on rough papers.

To save time, instead of cutting my own stencils with a hobby knife, I used Martha Stewart brand paper punches. I purchased these online at I chose the "Woodland Branch" edge punch and the "Arctic Snowflake&quo…

Holiday Craft Favorites

I love this time of year when design blogs share their festive DIY craft projects. From an incredible amount of tutorials, I managed to narrow my list down to a few of my favorites. Using materials ranging from food to fabric to paper, these ideas are definitely on my list to try!

Megan from Not Martha shares her template and instructions for mini gingerbread houses to perch on the rims of your mugs.

Jenny Harris from All Sorts shares her template and instructions for decorative felt Christmas trees.

Jessica Jones from About How Orange shares her template and instructions for paper snowflakes. It's so great to see this one in particular because I seem to have forgotten how to make paper snowflakes over the last 20 years or so…

Hollie Brown Illustrations

I am a huge fan of British Illustrator, Hollie Brown. Her "Betty Loves Tea" collection is one of my favorites, along with her "All Things Bright and Beautiful" series.

I love the depth of her colorful washes with the combination of whimsical line art. Her prints are produced using a high quality inkjet printing method called Giclee. Hollie adds all of the embellishments (found paper, stitching, and silk-screened fabric) by hand.

Found via Indie Quarter Blog.

Watercolor tip: use salt to make snow!

Salt soaks up water, right? Well, using salt on your watercolor paintings is a fun way to create abstract, starburst patterns. If you use salt on a blue sky scene, it looks a lot like snow. Below are the steps I used to create this little winter-scape painting.

For the house shape (this has nothing to do with salt yet) make two angular shapes with a dark brown and a slightly lighter brown. Achieve the lighter brown by adding water to the dark brown in your mixing tray. This two-tone look adds to the sense of depth and perspective. For the snow-covered roof, use a light wash of blue to indicate the shadows of the snow. Leave some of the roof, where the sun would hit, empty (white) to make the snow look bright. For snow on the ground, use a very light wash of blue to indicate some of the shadow areas.
Now for the sky. Put a couple of dabs of blue watercolor in your mixing tray. Use your brush to transfer the water from your water cup into the mixing tray. If you are using dry water colo…

Uppercase Magazine

I am so pleased to share one of my favorite new websites, They have an actual quarterly magazine that you can buy as well as a blog filled with artistic inspiration, a design community, books, and more. Uppercase is based in Canada (where they're actual storefront exists) but they travel throughout the U.S. for big craft fairs. My sister-in-law discovered them at the Chicago Renegade Craft Fair this past weekend. Thanks for the tip, Estefi!

Etsy Finds: 2011 Animal Calendars

I am in search of adorable calendars. Thanks to Etsy, I didn't have to look very far! There are so many to choose from but I found three that I really love. All of these would make great holiday gifts.

2011 Hello Birds Calendar (hand screenprinted, limited edition)
by Strawberryluna

The Hare and the Tortoise 2011 Calendar (adorable illustrations)
by Zoe Sadler Illustration

"Safari Fun" Children's 2011 Calendar (a printable PDF)
by Pearenthetical Press

The Game is in US

Today FIFA will decide the 2018 and 2022 World Cup host countries. The United States is bidding against 10 other countries, including Australia, Japan, Qatar, and South Korea. Global design firm Pentagram collaborated with the USA Bid Committee on the design of the graphics. More from Pentagram below:
Designed by Michael Gericke and Luke Hayman, the identity captures the unique spirit of a US-hosted World Cup. The campaign centers on a phrase, “The Game is in US,” and utilizes a custom-designed typeface called Game and bold color palette to convey the unmatched enthusiasm and amazing diversity of soccer fans in the US.

The program includes the official U.S. Bid Book, the document that presents the US qualifications for hosting the FIFA World Cup. In May, a delegation that included U.S. Men’s National Team captain Carlos Bocanegra delivered the U.S. Bid Book to FIFA at a formal ceremony in Zurich. The book lists the 18 host city finalists and 21 stadiums, as well as plans for team trai…